Cable advertising on the cheap

OK, I promise I usually won’t mention Small Biz Advisor articles here very often, but rarely do I read something that catches me completely off guard.

Mike McDaniel wrote an excellent article about local Cable TV advertising– on the cheap:

Most [local cable operators] offer a package that will put your commercial into a mix of Cable network programs at all hours of the day for as little as $5 per commercial. Yup, $5 for a commercial on ESPN, CNN Headline News or the Discovery Channel.

When I saw Mike’s article on the publication roster this morning I almost didn’t publish it– I don’t want hyperbole on the Small Biz Advisor site. However, a little investigating showed that what he’s saying is true– the rates for cable tv advertising are unbelievably inexpensive. Mike said $5 per insertion, which sounded fishy to me, so I called my local cable operator. Turns out that Mike’s $5 estimate was pretty close to the mark: I could advertise my business locally on the boob tube for $7.50 per play. There were some catches, of course– I had to buy at least 200 insertions, and they would play late at night on various stations without any level of control– but still… what a great way to increase the perceived size of your company. Being able to say “perhaps you’ve seen our ad on tv?” to a prospective client buys a lot of credibility, even if (as is likely the case, given the loser time slots) they hadn’t actually seen it.

You learn something new every day. I would have guessed that this kind of advertising was many times more expensive than it is.